Originally published January 1996 in Dental Business Today.
We go way back for the first Trojan Today Classic of 2024. In Trojan Today’s previous incarnation – Dental Business Today. Here is a message from Trojan Professional Services’ President.
Several years ago, while traveling in what was then the Soviet Union, I had one of the most incredible evenings in my not uneventful life. We were hosted at a dinner in a small village in the hills above Tbilisi, the capitol of Soviet Georgia. Dinner was served in a 300-yeard-old building let only by a fireplace and dozens of candles. Tin buckets were filled with locally grown roses. The food was delicious – with a bounty of vegetables, fruits and delicacies unavailable in other parts of the Soviet Union – washed down with what seemed bottomless decanters of locally made wine.
The Georgians had a couple of extraordinary customs. The dinner consisted of at least a dozen courses served over three hours. Oddly, they never removed any dishes from the table, so by the end of the evening we had this teetering tower of dirty dishes covering every inch of the table.
The other custom, which I loved, was toasting. I am not talking about the stiff, formal “toasts” we see at political receptions on television. These were witty, friendly, rambunctious, poetic and creative. Throughout the evening, everyone at the table of twenty gave at least one toast.
We brought this custom home with us. The following year, this group of Georgians were performing and touring in the United States. We entertained them in our home. We didn’t stack the dishes high on the table, but we did fill the evening with many toasts, much laughter, and deepening friendships.
The custom of toasting dates back to ancient times. The Greeks drank to each other’s health out of each other’s glasses to ensure their drinks had not been poisoned. Pieces of dried bread were floated in drinks (to add nourishment?) and were referred to as “toasts.” The custom of clinking glasses was added in the 1600s. Some say the clinking involves all five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. There are delightful books on the custom including, Toasts by Paul Dickson.
As we are ringing in the new year, it is a traditional time for toasts. I’d like you to consider adding toasts liberally throughout 1996. Whether it’s champagne in a crystal flute, spring water out of a bottle, orange juice out of the carton, or a mug of coffee with your staff, raise your glass, speak your heart, and you will lift the spirits of all who partake.
I raise my glass to you! May your treatment plan acceptance go up…your collection account disappear…and pride in your work soar to new heights… may you know how committed Trojan is to serve your needs!
Salud! Skoal! Sante! L’chayim!
Ingrid Kidd Goldfarb
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